News & Media

Confetti Budget fails to recognise of scale youth unemployment crisis

12 October 2021

Statement by Senator Marie Sherlock
Seanad Whip and Spokesperson on Employment Affairs, Media, Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht

Responding to Budget 2022, Labour employment spokesperson Marie Sherlock called out the Government for failing to even mention the enormous youth unemployment problem that exists as a result of the pandemic. With current unemployment rates for young workers at 17.4% in September 2021, youth unemployment is running at almost four times the rate of older workers.

Senator Sherlock said:

“High youth unemployment will be one the major legacies of the pandemic. This concern has been highlighted by ESRI research during the pandemic and it was a key feature of the Irish labour market well after the last recession had ended. Despite this, the Government appears to assume that a rising tide will lift all boats over future months. To the contrary, young workers are concentrated in the sectors worst affected by the pandemic such as hospitality and retail.

"There is a wholly inadequate lack of targeted resources for the over 65,000 young people aged 15-24 years who are out of work and who are looking for work. Fewer additional apprenticeship places have been announced for 2022 compared with last year and there has been no real dent in the cost of going to college with just €200 extra in the SUSI grant. Indeed, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform referred to the work placement experience programme in his speech but didn’t mention that that the budget allocation for it has been more than halved in 2022.

“The proposals announced today to assist in the costs of working from home bear little reality to the scale of those costs. The reality is that the costs of running an office have been shifted from the shoulders of employers to employees for the days that workers are working at home. The increase in the tax relief announced today means that the State remains on the hook for this payment with no mandated payment from employers to their workers. In 2020, the Labour Party published its Working from Home bill which would have ensured employers make a daily payment in respect of utility costs."